Monday, November 28, 2011

Bueng Kan PAO office location

Sign at the Bueng Kan PAO office
Photo by Tom Isaan
Some time ago, I mentioned that I found the address for the office of the provincial administrative organization (PAO) of the new province Bueng Kan, but due to the nature of Thai addresses it is impossible to convert this into coordinates to point it on a map.

Now my reader Tom, who is traveling a lot within the Northeast of Thailand (Isaan), was in Bueng Kan and managed to find the office at plot 198, Mu 8 of Bueng Kan subdistrict.

View Bueng Kan administration in a larger map

In the above map, it is the easternmost marker, located close to the land office of Bueng Kan. As the building is already visible in the satellite imagery from 2003 and looks like the standard style of government offices from above, it would be interesting to know how the building was used before. As you see, I have already added the location to my Bueng Kan administration map, but also to Wikimapia and of course into my XML.

Now in the vicinity of the small town of Bueng Kan, the only office locations I still don't have are the TAO Bueng Kan and probably a bit further away the Wisit subdistrict municipality. But as Tom has already sent me other geotagged photos of administrative offices, I am sure whenever he spots either of these I will get them soon as well. And this is one way how every of my readers can help me - in case you can find the location of a TAO or municipality office just send me, and I will add them to my maps.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Province seal stamps, Series 6

Nakhon Si Thammarat, from 2nd series
The 6th part of the provincial seal stamp series already went into sale in July, and I nearly missed it completely until I noticed the corresponding announcement in the Royal Gazette earlier this month - quite strange that the announcements on stamps always get published in the Royal Gazette months after the stamps go on sale.

Same as the previous releases (except the first which was a double release), another 10 province seals are covered this time, and by the Thai alphabetical ordering now the province Samut Sakhon, Sa Kaeo, Saraburi, Sing Buri, Sukhothai, Suphan Buri, Surat Thani, Surin, Nong Khai and Nong Bua Lam Phu were due. Thus now 70 provinces have been covered, and only 7 left - Ang Thong, Amnat Charoen, Udon Thani, Uttaradit, Uthai Thani and Ubon Ratchathani, and out of the alphabetical order also Bueng Kan, as that province was created just recently. I wonder what will be placed in the remaining 3 spaces for the block, if I were to choose I would put the emblems of Thonburi and Phra Nakhon province, which ceased to exist with the creation of the special administrative area Bangkok.

I'll have to wait till next summer to pick my copy of this stamp block, and though it is not the most beautiful I'd love to have the first day cover for my favorite province Surat Thani - but that one is probably sold out till then already.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Province halls destroyed in past

When last year four province halls were destroyed in the aftermath of the forceful ending of the red shirt protests, I thought these acts were unprecedented in Thai history. At that time I only knew that the province hall of Surat Thani was destroyed twice, once during World War II at the Japanese invasion, and once by a bomb planted by communist terrorist in 1982.

Two weeks ago, a short news article by The Nation taught me otherwise. While the main point was about Democrat MP Wittaya Kaewparadai warning the government about the risk of riots if the flood situation isn't brought under control - and the current threats by citizens north of Bangkok to break the flood walls which protect the city and keep only them inundated are not far from riots - the final sentence is the interesting one for the topic of this blog.
After the 1995 floods, people in the South burned down the city hall because they believed the provincial governor was keeping donations to himself, he said, adding that he was concerned about the lack of transparency of the Bt120billion rehabilitation plan.
The Nation, Dissatisfaction with govt performance may lead to riots, opposition warns, November 10, 2010
Sadly, it is not mentioned at which province this riot occurred, or how seriously the province hall was damaged in that riot. I tried to find more with Google, but it seems there's nothing to find about that time in any English website.

If anyone know more details, or know about other cases when a province hall was destroyed in past, I am very curious to hear.

Monday, November 21, 2011

District officer of the year 2011

The annual award to the best performing district officers has been announced last week. Officially named นายอำเภอแหวนเพชร ประจำปี ๒๕๕๔ (Diamond District Officer of the year 2554), the winner for each of the regions are
  • North: Nakhon Khongnuan (นายนคร คงนวล), Thung Saliam district, Sukhothai
  • Central: Wisa Phunsirirat (นายวิสาห์ พูลศิริรัตน์), Hankha district, Chainat
  • Northeast: Somsak Sukprasoet (นายสมศักดิ์ สุขประเสริฐ), Wanon Niwat district, Sakon Nakhon
  • South: Dondet Phatnarat (นายดลเดช พัฒนรัฐ), Betong district, Yala

Friday, November 18, 2011

Chumchon office in Phitsanulok

The photo web site Panoramio, most known due to the fact that the photos from there are automatically displayed within Google Earth, had helped me to find the locations of administrative offices several times already, especially when the building is clearly identifiable from above and the view from the street with the sign help to get the correct coordinates.

Now more by random googleing than actual searching, I stumbled on a photo of the office of a municipal borough (Chumchon, ชุมชน), the administrative unit I know almost nothing about. So now I learned that the office of a borough is named ที่ทำการชุมชน. It turns out that this specific borough, borough number 14 of Phitsanulok city named Chumchon Suea Thim (ชุมชนเสือทิม) is quite present on the web, while the city does not even have a list of their boroughs on the website, this borough has its own website, an active Facebook page, and also some albums on Picasa.

So now this borough is the first one which got a complete entry in my XMLs.

<entity type="Chumchon" geocode="65990014" name="ชุมชนเสือทิม" english="Chumchon Suea Thim">
  <office type="ChumchonOffice">
    <vision>พัฒนาชุมชนให้เจริญและยั่งยืน เพิ่มศักยภาพของคนในชุมชน สร้างชุมชนให้เข้มแข็ง</vision>
      <official title="ChumchonChairman" name="สาวสุนิษา กำไร" inoffice="2011"/>

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Province governor reshuffle list 2011

In the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, apart from the controversial Royal pardon, the list of the annual province governor reshuffle was approved, moving 32 officials from or to province governor posts. The complete list as found in the cabinet meeting transcript is below. I only cannot find yet at which date the transfers become effective. The romanization of the Thai names was done by me and is probably often not identical with the spelling used by the corresponding officials.
  • Chonchuen Bunyanusan (นายชนม์ชื่น บุญญานุสาสน์) from a post in the Ministry to become province governor of Ratchaburi.
  • Wangchat Wongchaichana (นายวันชาติ วงษ์ชัยชนะ), province governor of Ranong to become Inspector-General in the MOI.
  • Phirasak Hinmueangkao (นายพีระศักดิ์ หินเมืองเก่า), Inspector-General in the MOI to become province governor of Ranong.
  • Surachai Chanasa (นายสุรชัย ขันอาสา), Director-General of the CDD to become province governor of Lamphun.
  • Praphat Bunyin (นายประภาศ บุญยินดี), province governor of Samut Songkhram to become Director-General of the CDD.
  • Thanon Wetkonkanon (นายธนน เวชกรกานนท์), province governor of Narathiwat to become province governor of Samut Songkhram.
  • Choetsak Chusi (นายเชิดศักดิ์ ชูศรี), province governor of Samut Prakan to Inspector-General in the MOI.
  • Wanida Bunprakhong (นางวรรณิดา บุญประคอง), Inspector-General in the MOI to become province governor of Samut Prakan.
  • Wichit Chatphosit (นายวิชิต ชาตไพสิฐ), province governor of Chonburi to become province governor of Chanthaburi.
  • Khomsan Ekchai (นายคมสัน เอกชัย), province governor of Udon Thani to become province governor of Chonburi.
  • Kaenphet Chuangrang (นายแก่นเพชร ช่วงรังษี), province governor of Amnat Charoen to become province governor of Udon Thani.
  • Wiyon Thongsakun (นายวิญญู ทองสกุล), province governor of Songkhla to become province governor of Phatthalung.
  • Kruesada Bunrat (นายกฤษฎา บุญราช), province governor of Yala to become province governor of Songkhla.
  • Thani Samarotkit (นายธานี สามารถกิจ), province governor of Buriram to become Inspector-General in the MOI.
  • Maitri Inthusut (นายไมตรี อินทุสุต), province governor of Trang to become province governor of Phayao.
  • Seni Chitotkasem (นายเสนีย์ จิตตเกษม), province governor of Nan to become province governor of Trang.
  • Phonsak Wangsemo (นายพงษ์ศักดิ์ วังเสมอ), province governor of Phayao to become province governor of Nan.
  • Winai Buapradit (นายวินัย บัวประดิษฐ์), province governor of Nong Bua Lamphu to become province governor of Phetchaburi.
  • Raphi Phongbupkit (นายระพี ผ่องบุพกิจ), province governor of Nakhon Ratchasima to become province governor of Nong Bua Lamphu.
  • Chuan Sirinanphon (นายชวน ศิรินันท์พร), province governor of Phrae to become province governor of Nakhon Ratchasima.
  • Kitti Sapwisut (นายกิตติ ทรัพย์วิสุทธิ์), province governor of Chachoengsao to become Inspector-General in the MOI.
  • Roengsak Mahawinitchaimontri (นายเริงศักดิ์ มหาวินิจฉัยมนตรี), province governor of Nakhon Phanom to become province governor of Chacheongsao.
  • Nattaphon Wichianphrit (นายณฐพลษ์ วิเชียรเพริศ), province governor of Kanchanaburi to become Inspector-General in the MOI.
  • Somchai Thathayatin (นายสมชัย หทยะตันติ), province governor of Chiang Rai to become Inspector-General in the MOI.
  • Thira Minsasak (นายธีระ มินทราศักดิ์), province governor of Nakhon Ratchasima to become province governor of Pattani.
  • Wirong Chiwarangsan (นายวิโรจน์ จิวะรังสรรค์), province governor of Kalasin to become province governor of Nakhon Si Thammarat.
  • Somsak Suwansutrit (นายสมศักดิ์ สุวรรณสุจริต), province governor of Sisaket to become province governor of Kalasin.
  • Somphong Arunrongpanya (นายสมพงษ์ อรุณโรจน์ปัญญา), province governor of Bueng Kan to become province governor of Loei.
  • Phonsak Chianyai (นายพรศักดิ์ เจียรณัย), province governor of Loei to become province governor of Bueng Kan.
  • Charinot Chakkaphak (นายจรินทร์ จักกะพาก), province governor of Chaiyaphum to become province governor of Sakon Nakhon.
  • Saroem Chaiyanrong (นายเสริม ไชยณรงค์), province governor of Surin to become Inspector-General in the MOI.
  • Niran Kanyanikhon (นายนิรันดร์ กัลยาณมิตร), Deputy Director-General in the MOI to become province governor of Surin.
Finally, the term of Somsak Phurisisak (นายสมศักย์ ภูรีศรีศักดิ์), governor of Suphanburi has been extended till September 2012, if I understand right he was originally set to retire this year. Interestingly, he is in office since 2006, really long as most governors get transferred after one or two years already.

The cabinet list also includes the change for the Director-General of the Department of Local Administration (DOLA), now led by Weerayuth Iamampha (นายวีระยุทธ เอี่ยมอำภา).

This list is not the complete reshuffle list yet, as the promotions of deputy province governors to province governors will probably be done in one of the next cabinet meetings.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Municipal boundary changes

Four municipalities changed their boundaries with a neighboring TAO, with the corresponding announcements published in the Royal Gazette last week.

Friday, November 11, 2011

District officer home in Surat Thani

Even though it is located on the main street through the city of Surat Thani, I only noticed the building in my latest stay there - the official residence of the district officer of Mueang Surat Thani district. I knew that the province governor has an official residence in the city, which from the outside looks quite representative - see the posting on the administrative offices in Surat Thani - but didn't before found a similar place for the lower administrative levels. Well, except for the village headmen, which usually have their normal home as their office as well.

But given the fact that district officers are also shuffled around the country same as province governor, often only staying one year at a given office and ordered to report to new locations on rather short notice, it makes sense that the government provides adequate housing for them. Obviously, the district officer home is far less representative than the province governor villa.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

City Pillar of Phana, Amnat Charoen

City pillar of Phana
photo courtesy of Lawrence
At the small municipality of Phana in Amnat Charoen province, there are big plans for the city pillar (Lak Mueang, หลักเมือง). The blogger Lawrence who lives in this remote town in the northeast of Thailand reports on the history of the pillar and the way more ancient four corner stones, which are already nearly hidden due to the higher street level. The pillar itself is only ten years old, as it was erected when the almost forgotten corner stones were unearthed. These corner stones however are already 300 years old.

The municipality now plans to build a real shrine for the city pillar, judging from the drawing would be of similar size as the city pillar shrines in the provincial capitals. The shrine will however be build near the current site, and the spirits of the pillar were already notified about the change as well.

One could of course wonder why a small municipality, which is not even the seat of the district office, should have such a big city pillar shrine, or why it actually has a city pillar at all - there are still some provinces which have no city pillar in their capital. But historically, Phana was more significant in the past than it is today. In 1879, it became a Mueang under Ubon Ratchathani, at that time named Phana Nikhom (พนานิคม). With the thesaphiban reforms, this Mueang became a district within the province, and since the district office went to Ban Khulu (according to this was in 1914) it was renamed accordingly in 1917 [Gazette]. That district is today Trakan Phuet Phon of Ubon Ratchathani. The present district of Phana was created in 1951 by splitting of the area around the historical origin from Trakan Phuet Phon [Gazette]. The current district office is however a bit outside the historical center in Phra Lao subdistrict.

I wasn't aware of Phana's historical grandeur, and only with to the comments of Lawrence was hinted that I should have checked my own sources which already have all the answers. Especially the list of Mueang in Isan I still haven't found the time and patience to work through...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Muban of Bangkok

While looking at the flood maps provided by Longdo to check whether my wife's house escaped inundation, I spotted placemarks for village headmen offices (ที่ทำการผู้ใหญ่บ้าน) in Taling Chan district. Some time ago, I already wrote about a similar office further west in Thawi Watthana district, since to my knowledge the administrative villages within Bangkok were already abolished by 2005.

Actually, I had seen the sign in front of that specific office many times already while driving past it, but never stopped there for a short photo. No name is given for that village, only that it is village 10 of Bang Phrom subdistrict, so I got curious and tried to find at least how many villages each of the subdistricts actually has. Only thing Google returned was an obscure Excel sheet from the Ministry of Education, which contains the geocodes of the villages and several columns of numbers - if I guess right it is the number of children for the ages 0 to 20. And it also contains the strange Muban 77 and 78, so these are really the administrative villages I was looking for.

According to that sheet, there are a total of 810 administrative villages - a bit more than the 279 which in 2005 still had headmen. There are also some strange numbers, for example Don Mueang subdistrict only has the villages number one, four, five and eleven, and the newly created Sanam Bin subdistrict only village nine. The fact that Sanam Bin is already inside this sheet shows that it is rather up-to-date, therefore these villages are still existing at least for statistical or registration purposes.

Friday, November 4, 2011

New Municipalities announced

Another set of three TAO has been upgraded to subdistrict municipalities and published in the Royal Gazette on Tuesday.
Additionally, the transfer of some area between the TAO Tha Duea (องค์การบริหารส่วนตำบลท่าเดื่อ) and the subdistrict municipality Tha Duea (เทศบาลตำบลท่าเดื่อ), Doi Tao district, Chiang Mai province, was announced, as usual in two announcement, one covering the municipality which includes the map, and one covering the TAO. Interestingly, according to Longdo Map the office of the TAO is actually located within the municipal area.